Zuckerberg will meet with European parliament in private next week

Pauline Gross
May 18, 2018

The EU and British parliaments have been calling for Zuckerberg to submit to an on-air grilling since it emerged earlier this year that a company, political consultants Cambridge Analytica, had been allowed to misuse the data of millions of Facebook users.

Seventy million might have lost personal data including names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail accounts, while 40 million bank accounts and credit cards were also put at risk.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to speak with leaders of the European parliament next week about the data protection scandal that has engulfed his company — but might avoid a public testimony like the one he endured in the U.S.

The data which got exposed was highly sensitive and revealed the personal details of Facebook users like their results of psychological tests.

Given Zuckerberg has thrice denied requests from United Kingdom lawmakers to take questions about his platform in a public hearing we can only assume the company made the CEO's appearance in front of European Union parliamentarians conditional on the meeting being closed.

A spokesperson for Facebook told the Guardian newspaper that the company had accepted the "proposal to meet with leaders of the European parliament and appreciate [s] the opportunity for dialogue, to listen to their views and show the steps we are taking to better protect people's privacy".

And that members of the public won't be able to form their own opinions about how Facebook's founder responds to pressing questions about what Zuckerberg's platform is doing to their privacy and their fundamental rights.

Zuckerberg will meet with European parliament in private next week

The European Commissioner for justice Vera jourova stated.

Tajani said that simply showing up to explain himself was already a good move.

Tajani said: "Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation".

At the back of MEPs' minds will be the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, the data company that harvested Facebook data and used it - apparently without users' knowledge - to manage electoral campaigns.

Boss of Cambridge Analytica Alexander Nix has accepted a summons from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and will appear in front of its committee on Wednesday 6 June.

Zuckerberg did agree to public sessions with United States lawmakers last month, following a major global privacy scandal related to user data and political ad targeting.

Zuckerberg has so far declined to appear, to the British lawmakers' annoyance.

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